Before the Under Armour All-America Game in January, we asked a handful of the country’s top recruits what advice they wanted to share with the next generation of elite prospects.
As the class of 2013 graduates high school and heads off to college, we thought we’d pass on words of wisdom from this year’s grads to the next crop of recruits:
WR Alvin Bailey (Armwood, Florida recruit): “Just take your time. Think things out. Talk things over with the biggest person that’s gonna be a factor in your decision where you go, and ultimately do the thing that’s best for you. Don’t go where someone else wants you to go. Just do what you want to do and do the best decision for you.”
DE Robert Nkemdiche (country’s No. 1 recruit, Ole Miss signee): “Don’t let anybody pressure you. When the pressure gets to be a lot, don’t try to keep it to yourself. Ask questions about it. Don’t keep it all to yourself, because it can become really stressful.”
RB Alvin Kamara (four-star recruit, Alabama signee): “Take it easy. Take your time. Don’t rush into anything. We’ve seen, there’s been a whole bunch of stories this year about guys decommitting and committing and decommitting and all this crazy stuff going on. Really just take your time. You don’t have to rush into a decision.”
DB Vernon Hargreaves III (Wharton, UF recruit): “Do what you want to do. Exactly what I mean by that. If you want to do an interview, do it. If you don’t, don’t.”
Spring standouts to watch this summer
We saw a lot of talented athletes in spring football games last week. And these players got us excited about the June 22 HomeTeam/Unsigned Preps Battle of the Bay. The first annual 7-on-7 tournament will crown the best team in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco or Hernando counties. The one-day event, with 16 teams, is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Jefferson High School.
QB Donavan Hale, Largo: He was a little off on some of his timing against Palm Harbor University and Countryside, but the sophomore was making his first varsity start and is just getting started. It will be fun watching him develop that chemistry with his receivers this summer (Reggie Campbell was out for the spring game but should be back in June) while developing a quicker trigger.
QB Deiondre Porter, Jefferson: Porter threw out touchdown passes like they were Halloween candy Thursday night. With guys like Derrick Ingram heading up a potentially great receiving corps, the Dragons should be one of the favorites. They do, after all, have homefield advantage as hosts of the Battle of the Bay. Porter vs. Hale in the final? Hmmmm.
Prime time: That’s what they called Deion Sanders. Tampa Bay Tech has its own Deons, quarterback Cain and running back Thompson, so you see what we did there with that nickname, right? These two had a great spring with Unsigned Preps, a sensational Thursday night at the jamboree, and we expect more of the same June 22.
WR Nate Craig, Pasco: Oh. My. Goodness. All he did Thursday was pick up 155 yards on four touches, score rushing (62 yards) and receiving (52) touchdowns. Oh and he had an interception. He’s worth the price of admission by himself.
QB Noah Johnson, Armwood: Yeah, we think the Hawks will be just fine in 2013. The Hawks have a busy summer of 7-on-7, but the BOTB will be one of the first places to check them out. And if Johnson looks as good as he did Thursday, you might see some folks shuffling those preseason rankings.
Five Tampa Bay prospects were represented when 247Sports released its initial list of the country’s top 247 recruits for the class of 2015.
East Lake receiver George Campbell earned five-star status as the country’s top receiver and the No. 16 overall prospect. Only two players in the state are ranked higher.
One of the spring’s breakout players, Plant’s Jake Fruhmorgen, is the site’s fourth-best offensive tackle prospect and its No. 69 overall recruit.
Armwood defensive end Byron Cowart comes in at No. 146 as a four-star recruit, and Largo safety Jonathan Crawford is No. 211. Nature Coast offensive tackle Christian Pellage — who earned his first college offer last week from Virginia — is No. 232.
Compiled by staff writers Matt Baker and John C. Cotey.
Photo: Largo quarterback Donavan Hale